Why no precise SVG fit?

Hello.
I am surprised that Glowforge does not automatically align to svg files created in Adobe Illustrator - which is what I design in -. I have to line up SVG cutlines by eye with the artwork that I wish to cut , and it is impossible to achieve 100% accuracy. Compare this, for example, to the Cricut Maker cutting machine which, although it can only cut cardstock or vinyl, but not wood, automatically locks on perfectly to Illustrator SVG files, without the need to eyeball it every time. I hope that this is something that Glowforge designers will develope for future models. That would certainly make Glowforge the best laser cutting machine.

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If you highlight the design there is a widget on the lower left that pops up and will give you precise dimensions to the third decimal point :slightly_smiling_face:

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I don’t understand what you mean by “automatically align” and “locks on”. If you use the recommended export settings in Illustrator, your files will load into the Glowforge interface at the exact size and position you draw them in.

Can you describe the problem you’re running into in a little more detail?

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Glowforge support personnel do not monitor the forum, so you will need to contact them directly with your request for interface enhancements.

For precise placements, you will need to make a jig. In other instances, the alignment tool is pretty helpful.

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Not having a CriCut I can’t be sure we are on the same page but if you are using the paid/enhanced interface there are automatic lines that help with alignment of new elements to the print.

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PDF > SVG

Perfect alignment requires either a jig, or boundary element that can be ignored during processing.

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Thanks for your response.
I do think that perfect alignment of the cutting files should be normal. - If Cricut, and other laser cutters can do it, why can’t Glowforge?

Perfect alignment is possible if you have set up your files and process correctly.

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I still don’t understand what you mean by perfect alignment. Are you having trouble placing your designs onto the material using the picture on the screen, or is it something else that’s going wrong?

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Yes. I have trouble placing my designs onto the material using the picture on the screen. I normally Set Focus, then select the cutline, then manipulate the cutline with the mouse, until the cutine lines up around the artwork. I can usually get it to about 98 % accuracy, but I think that the cutine should be able to line up automatically, within the artwork.

I am confused about this, too…why aren’t you creating a cut line around your artwork in AI? Sounds like you’re trying to place a separate cut line around something that’s already on the GF bed and is a separate image.

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I will suggest you do the camera calibration for sub mm accuracy on placements, but definitely do your art and your cuts in the same design to not have the issue!

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Do you mean like a “print and cut” setting? If so, GF has something called Snapmarks, which does the same thing, but I’m not sure if it’s widely available any more.

Otherwise, no, you have to use a jig.

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Snapmarks were officially retired (I believe) when the camera calibration came out - though anyone who already had them got to keep them.

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Thanks for your response deirdreth. I do my art and cuts in Adobe Illustrator, then I save the Illustrator cut file as an svg, then upload the svg file into Glowforge. It is suggested that I should make a jig to align the cutline with the artwork, on the screen in Glowforge. How would that work then? My work is print then cut, which works with 100% accuracy in Cricut maker. and other laser cutting machines.

Xabbess. All my work, incuding the cutline, is created in AI. I save the cutline as an SVG file, then upload it to Glowforge.

Are you saving ONLY the cutline, without the artwork as the SVG?

If the file you’re uploading to the UI includes the image/ artwort AND the cutline, what is left to align? I am very confused.

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I got them after that point, so I am never sure what the cutoff was!

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Good! a lot of folks miss that part.

CTRL-A gets everything at once so you are not moving one thing and leaving another behind. If you are using the 20"x12" rectangle you can move the top left corner to 0,0 and the height of everything to 12 (with the lower-left widget and things (or at least the rectangle) will be sized and located correctly. If needed to can then get just the design and make sure you have it correct as well.

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Like other have mentioned, you need to include the ‘cut line’ in your artwork file, that way it’s present when you upload the file and you don’t need to anything but adjust your settings.

I use Illustrator for everI create, and every file includes a mixture of engraving, scoring, and cutting. I don’t have to manipulate the file at all, just upload, assign settings, and then hit the print button. I perfer the PDF format over SVG, but a properly prepared file should work using either.

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